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Governance 101: Where 15 Pledges for Better Citizens Headed in Next 3 Years?

better citizen

Back in May 2018, something historical happened – BN who held power for past 61 years lost the general elections – the story detailed in Part 1 & Part 2. And with that, the old Malaysia died and a “New Malaysia” or in Bahasa, “Malaysia Baru” was born. Image source: Wikipedia

However since then, the New Malaysia like a newborn baby have been struggling to stand up, been making too many silly mistakes, edging dangerously on race & religion related matters and yet to show any positive results.

On a daily basis, there is no lack of news of power tussles, accusations that one political party is leading another, race & religion is under threat and the proposed succession plan not materialising. The political landscape is indeed in a mess but we will come to the main actors, i.e. the politicians and the so-called NGOs later.

New Malaysia & Better Citizens

When the New Malaysia was born, there was an equal drive at the part of the citizens to come out from the constraints of the Old Malaysia and better themselves to meet the expected changes that the country have just gone through. It is known as #Better Citizens.

After all, the race and religion based political parties had lost a number of their seats which was a clear indication that Malaysians to a larger part was willing to look beyond race and religion. The citizen and the country as whole united in the war against abuse of powers, misuse of taxpayers money and corruption. There were no more expensive overseas shopping trips.

There were 15 #Better Citizens pledges that was raised and promoted through the social media, websites and instant messages. Some of the pledges #Better Citizens are not new – the same have been voiced a number of times in the past but no real changes come of it – perhaps due to lack of enforcement of the law or lack of commitment from the citizens themselves.

But after 2018 and with a change of government where things is not expected to be the same again, it is high time to revisit these #Better Citizens pledges to be a better Malaysian Citizen and what to be done in the next 3 years or so before the next elections.

Use your indicators when overtaking, coming to a stop, turning to a junction or changing lanes

Using your indicators should part and parcel of a driver’s skill to drive a car. It is a stick that sticks out from the steering and all you need to do is to push it up or down. You learned it when you train to drive a car and it is part of the exam syllabus – failing to put on the indicators can cause you to fail the driving test.

I recall when I did my driving test many moons ago, I got a fail for this not because I did not put on the indicators but I put it too late before turning into a junction. I made sure that I always use the indicators every time I changed the lanes or turning into a junction.

Stand on the left of the escalator if you are standing idle

It is not common in Malaysia and thus it is understandable if not many Malaysians familiar with this. But go to a first class mentality country like Hong Kong (before the lawless protestors brought it down to a war zone), you will see order – people stand in a queue for bus even though there is no markers on the ground.

And when using escalators, all will keep to the left so that those who are rushing can walk up or down on the right. Interestingly this kind of attitude of standing on the left is slowly catching up in Malaysia.

Don’t misuse the emergency lane unless it is for emergencies

This is too obvious and we had many examples of selfish drivers caught on camera blocking the emergency vehicles especially ambulances from reaching the scenes of accident. Personally I got many of these drivers on my dash cam and reported these offenders to RTD for further action. It is RM300 summons for each offence.

Don’t pack food when attending other people’s open house

Good thing is I don’t see this as far as I can recall going to other house for festive open house. Usually it is the other way around where in order to not waste any food; the host usually pack the extra food and will give away to the guests.

But then again, considering that this is in the list of pledges for better citizens, this must be happening very frequently. So please stop from being rude to the host of the open house by packing the food unless it was offered first.

Don’t throw rubbish from your car

God, I lost count of seeing morons throwing rubbish from their car into the road as it is their personal dustbin especially on the highways. How difficult it is to keep the rubbish in the car and after stopped at the next R&R, to throw away the rubbish into a proper dustbin?

Don’t smoke in public areas

Good thing this has been partially made part of the law now and the Health Minister had put firm his foot on this one especially huge protest following the smoking ban at all eateries and restaurants starting from January this year.

Many welcomed this ban which was heavy – those caught smoking in prohibited areas will be fined up to RM10,000 or face two years’ jail while eateries found to have allowed customers to light up will be slapped with a maximum fine of RM2,500.

Give seat to those who in need

If you are using the public transport and it is peak hours and you managed to get seat, look around and see if there are others who may need the seat more. Pregnant women and the elderly who deserves that seat more than you. As a better citizen, do the necessary, do the right thing by offering the seat to them.

Don’t park at handicap’s parking spot. Selfishness is not a handicap

There is a reason why there are handicap parking lots – it is mainly to facilitate the ease of movement of handicap drivers or passengers. Stupidity is also not a handicap so is the ignorance of the law.

Don’t talk loud in public areas

Well this depends on the situation, event, place and time – whether if you noticed that everyone is talking softly or loudly, whether it is a private or public function, whether it is designated public areas or open public areas and whether it is morning, night and wee in the morning when others may be sleeping.

Don’t drive too close to the car in front when driving

In other words, don’t tail-gate and the reason is just too obvious – the shorter the gap between the 2 cars, the less time you have to stop your car from hitting the car in front. And depending on the number of cars on the road at that time and the condition of the road, this could mean a major pileup – possibly causing fatalities, serious injuries and damages to the vehicles.

Don’t use your hand phone whilst driving

This still happens – if you see the car in front being driven slow and erratically, there is a very high chance that the driver is using his / her hand phone and thus is not focussing at the traffic in front. This is very dangerous and if it is on the fast lane, basically holding back the traffic.

Clean up / clear the tables after finished with your meals at the restaurants

It is easy to do this at fast food restaurants because these establishments will not have enough staff to clean up the tables. Further being fast food restaurants, the kind of waste is simple and is easy to dispose off. We do this often so that the next customer can have his meal.

Keep to your left if not overtaking

You often will see these signs on the national highway and it is not only a warning to the heavy vehicles to keep to the left if they are not overtaking but to all other vehicles who are still keeping to the fast lane even though they are not overtaking.

Don’t drive too slow on the fast lane (road hogging)

This is the opposite of tail-gating where the gap between the 2 cars is very far and I hate these kind of drivers because they are not following the designated speed and drive too slow on the fast lane causing danger to fast driven cars.

They are the day dreamers, living in a world of their own and without any concern of other road users.

P.s. I will ignore pledge no 15 because it does not necessary make one a better citizen. Further not all of the citizens have married.

Final Thoughts

The other 14 #Better Citizens pledges are not difficult, costly or take a lot of time to follow and do it on a regular basis. It does not bring any discomfort or loss to others. Instead, at the end of the day, it brings order, ease and comfort to others.

We often complained that Malaysia is a country with first class infrastructure, third class mentality. We need to bring ourselves to a first class mentality level first before we can force third class politicians to upload the rule of law, ensure fairness and stop the dirty politics of race and religion at the source.

In 2018, Malaysians from all different background, culture, race and religion proved one thing was indeed possible – that Malaysians could come together and be united for a common goal to ensure that this country that we cherish so much does not go down the drains.

New Malaysia, Better Citizen!!

1 thought on “Governance 101: Where 15 Pledges for Better Citizens Headed in Next 3 Years?”

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